Illinois Supreme Court to hear case on Illinois clean energy infrastructure

transmission line july 3 elp

The Illinois Supreme Court will decide the fate of northern Illinois’ largest clean energy infrastructure project. The Rock Island Clean Line would bring low-cost clean energy, hundreds of high quality jobs, and revenue for local communities to the state.

Unanimously approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in 2014, Rock Island Clean Line’s application to build an electric transmission line in Illinois was blocked by an appellate court decision over the summer. The Illinois Supreme Court decided to review that decision.

“Building infrastructure in our country is not a job for the faint of heart,” stated Hans Detweiler, Vice President of Clean Line Energy. “We are encouraged that the Illinois Supreme Court decided to take up the case, and we are hopeful that the court will recognize that privately funded infrastructure projects, like the Rock Island Clean Line, clearly serve a public purpose by creating jobs in the state and saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs.”

The Rock Island Clean Line, which is proposed to ship low-cost wind energy from Iowa to consumers in Illinois, is backed by labor, consumer and environmental groups.

“Chicago building owners support energy infrastructure projects like the Rock Island Clean Line that are self-funded rather than relying on utility ratepayers to bear the costs and risks,” said Michael Cornicelli, Executive Vice President of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago. “The Illinois Supreme Court is appropriately giving another hearing to this important project that was unanimously approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission.”

Based on a typical schedule, the Illinois Supreme Court could render its decision as early as May 2017.

“It is getting hard to build major new infrastructure projects in America," said John Penn, Midwest Region Vice President of the Laborers International Union of North America. "I am glad that the Illinois Supreme Court decided to take the case and am hopeful that they will put workers in Illinois back to work."

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